What is a Province?

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What is a Province?

Postby JustJonny » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:14 pm

Obviously, a Province is 10 Regions, the minimum amount of land a noble needs to own before they can be called a Baron, but just how much land is that in your games? I realize that it was kept deliberately vague in the rules so that everyone can make it your own, and if a player were to ask John Wick, he'd probably hand them dice for a Wisdom risk and say "You tell me..."

That grates against my sensibilities as a more traditional GM though. If I can't come up with some basic specifics, it's hard for me to feel comfortable enough to approximate things like how long it takes a noble to ride straight across his domain and the like. It also feels important to figure out before my players inevitably start into the PVP part of the game. As a way to get some ideas, I took the average size of the ceremonial counties of England (they were originally defined by feudalism, right?), then to get some more perspective, I took the average size of the US's counties, and the average size of the counties in Washington, my home state. Dividing those all by three, for three Barons per Count, I got three approximate sizes, and I ended up settling on the largest of the three, Washington's, for an approximate size of 600 square miles per Province. Afterward, I thought about real world island chains, and decided to look up the area of Oahu, because that felt about right for a single Province in my head. Coincidentally, it also turned about to be about 600 square miles.

In terms of laying out Regions within a Province, I give the players a hex sheet, and have them fill it in, one hex per urban Region, 6-10 per rural Region. This means that each hex is a little under 10 square miles. Having a map also makes the Provinces feel more real, and the players always have a lot of fun making them too. It also ensures that they name EVERYTHING. I'd insist on names for the various regions, but when they do things like drawing dams and roads in on their maps, they started naming those too, wholly unprompted by me.

What scale are your Provinces? How do you lay them out?
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Re: What is a Province?

Postby wunderworks » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:41 am

In the games I've run it's varied considerably. In one island game each island was an entire province and they were a range of sizes with the regions in each province being different sizes as well. One had a volcano (mountain) region that dominated the area of the province but the player made it only one region out of the ten in his province. I LIKE that a lot. It doesn't constrain people to certain sizes for things and letting them play with the total size in a region allows them to create interesting quirks or you know, story hooks. :D
Author of World of Dew a samurai noir sequel to John Wick's Blood & Honor

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